BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (970 WFLA) – The state fire marshal is investigating what caused an early Friday morning fire at a Brooksville restaurant, Hernando County officials said.
Crews were called Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant located at 6244 Spring Lake highway around 3 a.m. Friday. Firefighters said they saw heavy smoke and fire - conditions so bad, officials said they were not safe for crews to go inside.
"Papa Joe's" Owner Joe Giarratana said he doesn't know what can be salvaged from it.
“I have no idea. I mean from the looks of it the whole building – even the cooking pots got melted. So I have no idea what’s salvageable, things like that,” Giarratana.
And while the fire may have caused a lot of damage, the long-time Italian staple will continue to exist. Giarratana said they will rebuild.
“Absolutely, this is a part of our community of Brooksville for 33 years. We have young people that are now adults and then three generations that keep coming back to eat in our place," Giarratana said. "We can’t just - it’s not my time to go away yet.”
Officials said it is believed the building was unoccupied and no nearby buildings were affected.
Photo Credit Hernando County Government